Evoline C. West Elementary becomes first school in South Fulton to earn distinction
In Georgia, STEM-certified schools offer an integrated curriculum that focuses on problem solving, discovery, exploratory project/problem-based learning, and student-centered development of ideas and solutions.
Amana Academy Elementary, River Eves Elementary and Woodland Elementary are Fulton County Schools that are STEM-certified.
Schools must meet 17 state criteria to be awarded the Georgia Department of Education STEM certification.
“I am excited about the additional resources and partnerships STEM certification will provide students at Evoline C. West Elementary,” said Fulton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rose. “A STEM curriculum offers opportunities for engaging hands-on learning experiences that encourage problem-solving and critical thinking, both of which will prepare students for high-level coursework in middle school, high school and beyond.”
Evoline C. West Elementary initiated the process for state certification in 2014, when it created a STEM culture by giving K-5 students STEM Lab as a class for 45 minutes each week. The school also participated in other activities, including a STEM night where students showcased their classroom science projects.
“Our journey towards STEM certification began with students and teachers collaborating with our community partners to support certification for our school” said Kayla Cudsik, STEM Coordinator at Evoline. C. West. “We worked hard to create an environment where students were encouraged to innovate, be creative and become critical thinkers. We wanted to not only excel with our learning goals, but to bring real change to our school and community through project work. We could not be more proud of our accomplishments and are excited moving forward as South Fulton’s first STEM certified school.”
Year three of the school’s quest to become STEM certified included a Technology Grant for $85,000 to create a multimedia center for students. In 2017-2018, teachers engaged in professional development opportunities, including the Buck Institute and Fulton County Science Ambassadors. They also established community partners, including Nick Hoo, Day Dreamer Academy, and John Bynum, Bynum Custom Homes.
About the Fulton County School System. The Fulton County School System is the fourth largest school system in Georgia. Approximately 96,700 students attend 105 schools in the cities of Alpharetta, Chattahoochee Hills, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Palmetto, Roswell, Sandy Springs, South Fulton and Union City.